RADA students cut digital teeth on Stuff Happens
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
radaThe aim is to empower students with the most current knowledge and skills
UK - Students from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) are preparing for a rare London revival of David Hare’s Stuff Happens, supported by the launch of the new Video and Digital Design training strand.
As the new academic year gets under way, Edward Kemp returns to the Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre to direct Stuff Happens. Premiered at the National Theatre in 2004, David Hare’s examination of the build-up to the Iraq War combines verbatim theatre with speculative conversations. This new RADA production will integrate projected video into the design to counterpoint the action on stage, adding to the layers of documentary and drama already present in Hare’s script.
Designer and illustrator Jane Heather is collaborating with video artist Ali Hossaini on the production. In the Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, and with the support of state-of-the-art equipment provided by RADA’s in-kind sponsors, the production creates a training experience that mirrors industry practices, as well as offering a thought-provoking show for audiences.
Ali Hossaini works at the cutting edge of art, technology and business. His artworks have been shown in museums, theatres, galleries and festivals around the world, winning critical acclaim including from the New York Times, which calls him ‘a biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet’.
Director Edward Kemp expanded on the design elements of the upcoming show, commenting: “Jane and I have been working together for nearly 20 years. Much of our work has been quite ‘home spun’, working on the metaphorical and transformational aspects of the theatre and relying on the audience’s imagination to piece out the image. With this show there seemed to be an opportunity to see how that approach would sit beside images of the actual people, actual events, actual places – as the play blends public record with private speculation.
From autumn 2017, RADA has engaged award-winning video designers and digital pioneers Nina Dunn and Timothy Bird, who are appointed as joint heads of department in video and digital design at RADA.
The aim is to empower students with the most current knowledge and skills, drive forward innovation within these specialist technical theatre disciplines, and develop new areas of training, research and development.
(Jim Evans)

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